Working with Anger Through Creative Expression

The topics of anger and rage have come up frequently in conversations I’ve had since the events at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. I saw a user (@alexanderchee) post on Twitter that “the gentlest people I know are full of rage and grief.” I’ve felt these emotions myself in reckoning with difficult aspects of recent events. The purpose of this post is to normalize feeling intense emotions and to explore creative outlets for expressing and understanding emotions such as anger and rage (an intensified version of anger). A poem by Jalaluddin Rumi likens the human experience to a guest house as emotions come and go from our lives: The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has…

Death and Life: A Memorial for Unmourned Animals

“Death and Life” is a memorial piece I completed this year for unmourned animals. The skull is from the remains of a horse I encountered apparently dumped in the desert with a pile of garbage. I wanted to offer the horse some care in death that it may not have received in life. Over last winter I cleaned the skull with great care. As spring came, I began to find newly-hatched bird eggs everywhere — swallow, robin, and dove. The mosaic on the skull is made from the eggshells. For me the new life symbolized by the eggs also reflects the hope that comes through lovingkindness and the ways all living things are interconnected. ⚠️**Content warning: the paper and video below contain a photo of the horse’s skeletal remains as found and references to other animal deaths and cruelty.**  I presented the story of Death and Life at the 2020 Quantum Storytelling Conference in December and the narrative will be published with the conference proceedings. This paper is currently available online here: davidboje.com/quantum under “Death and Life Storytelling.” The video below is a recorded version of the presentation, including the story of the discovery of the horse, the process of…